Saturday, August 6, 2011

Consider the Indian Paintbrush---Wasatch Lake Hopping

Steady as she goes...

Catherine pass meadow overlooking Alta basin.

It was a good meadow...

At the pass: the enduring landmark of my western life.

On the third day in a row of hiking, we hopped to an unknown lake near Guardsmen's. Rock throwing and splashing ensued.

As did some relaxing...

The Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja). This is probably the first flower I ever remember learning about. I distinctly remember my Mom pointing these out to me while hiking above timberline on Mount Hood in Oregon. They live in western mountainous and arid regions. I've since learned that the flowers are edible and sweet---don't eat the green parts though, high in alkali. The Chippewa first nation uses the leaves as a condiment with other greens in a salad as well as treatment for rheumatism. They are also a parasitic plant, whose roots tap into other plants nearby to get water and nutrients.

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